MMK successfully implements 16 programmable robots as part of its digitalization efforts
The head of the MMK-InformService project office, Valery Rybolovlev, spoke about the Company’s automation during the Digital Transformation in Metallurgy conference held as part of the INNOPROM International Trade Fair in Yekaterinburg.
MMK launched the first programmable robot last year at the commercial directorate of the plant: the robot, created on the basis of the innovative RPA technology (Robotic Process Automation), is responsible for interacting with scrap metal suppliers. In particular, it processes e-mail, independently performs searches through the Russian Railways databases and generates reports for the Company's specialized services. This year, MMK plans to analyse, in detail, another 69 production processes that could possibly undergo automation.
The development of RPA-technologies, one of the possible directions of MMK’s “Industry 4.0”, concept which provides for the comprehensive digitalisation of business processes with the goal of increasing productive efficiency. According to Valery Rybolovlev, the key technologies of digitalization in the next five to ten years will be mathematical models and digital counterparts.
For their development and implementation in the scientific and technical centre of MMK, groups for mathematical modelling and system-analytical research have been created.
In three years, the group has done a lot of work: several software solutions based on Big Data technologies and artificial neural networks have been developed and implemented. For example, a mathematical model developed to optimize the procurement and consumption of raw coal materials saved the Company over RUB 500 million. The “Sniper” service, developed by MMK in collaboration with Mechanica AI, was introduced as a pilot program in the production process, optimizing the consumption of ferroalloys and additional materials in steelmaking.
MMK has always successfully implemented the most advanced technology intended to automate production management. As part of the strategic initiative “Industry 4.0”, the Company uses the capabilities of the new technologies in order to improve planning efficiency, improve product quality and reduce transaction costs. Currently, MMK, in partnership with Deloitte, is preparing a roadmap for the digitization of its plant for the medium term. The roadmap will include the most effective projects that will help MMK achieve strategic goals faster and significantly improve business efficiency.
MMK is one of the world's largest steel producers and a leading Russian metals company. The company's operations in Russia include a large steel-producing unit encompassing the entire production chain, from the preparation of iron ore to downstream processing of rolled steel. MMK turns out a broad range of steel products with a predominant share of high-value-added products. In 2018, the company produced 12.7 mln tonnes of crude steel and 11.7 mln tonnes of commercial steel products. MMK Group had sales in 2018 of USD 8,214 mln and EBITDA of USD 2,418 mln.
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